The Toronto Maple Leafs clearly need to make some moves before the season starts.
Not only is the Toronto Maple Leafs blue-line completely unacceptable, their roster is over the salary cap and there isn’t even room to fit in one of their most important players.
The cap will work itself out when the team makes a move for their blue-line, and in all probability they will try to move Jarnkrok who seems too expensive to be a third-liner when there are better players available.
Specifically one player.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Find Room for Nick Robertson
If you are concerned with winning hockey games, you can’t not play a guy with a motor like Robertson who also happens to have an elite shot.
If he plays, he’s guaranteed to be at least all-right, and he’s got an incredible upside the team can’t waste just because he’s gotten injured a few times (ok, a few dozen).
The current Leafs lineup will most likely have Bertuzzi and Knies patrolling the left side of the top six along with their 4 x superstars.
That means the third line, by default based on the salary of the players involved, likely includes Domi, Jarnrkok and Kampf.
Now, Kampf should definitely be on the fourth line, but why then did the Leafs extend him to more than double the league minimum, while also giving Pontus Holmberg a one-way deal?
The smart move would have been to play Domi at centre on the third line and Holmberg on the fourth, while losing Kampf and having no salary cap problems.
That ship has sailed.
The Toronto Maple Leafs can’t sit Nick Robertson or play him on the 4th line when he is better than all three presumed members of their third line.
Max Domi has more or less been one of the worst players in the NHL for the last several seasons. He gives back all his offense with terrible defense, and is incredibly overpaid and overrated.
Jarnkrok is useful and a great depth piece, but considering they are stuck with Domi until at least the trade deadline, he seems the most likely to go.
Robertson has 40 goal potential. In a best case scenario, he has a great season, steals some power-play time and makes it easy to let Tyler Bertuzzi walk in the summer.
No matter what, he’s got to be in the lineup when the puck drops in October.